Montreal defenseman Nathan Beaulieu felt like the entire team let down Carey Price.
Price was pulled in the second period after conceding four goals on 18 shots against the San Jose Sharks in Montreal's 4-2 loss Friday night. It was the first time Price was pulled when healthy since Oct. 13, 2014.
"None of the goals were his fault," Beaulieu said. "Guys were just not picking up sticks around the net. Tap-ins from the crease are just unacceptable. They just can't happen.
"It wasn't Price getting pulled because Price wasn't good enough. He's the best player in the world and he's our best player. It had nothing to do with him. It was us."
As he walked to the dressing room, Price glared at the bench, presumably at coach Michel Therrien.
"We pulled him to send a message to the players," Therrien said. "I didn't like how they were playing in front of him. It made no sense to keep Price in there. I also had to think about tomorrow's game.
This was the first game of a back-to-back for Montreal. The team travels to Washington to face the Capitals on Saturday. Still looking for 250th NHL win, Price will get the start in that game.
David Schlemko, Patrick Marleau, Timo Meier and Melker Karlsson scored for San Jose, and Martin Jones made 26 saves. The Sharks have won four in a row, starting their four-game trip with shootout victories in Toronto and Ottawa on Tuesday and Wednesday night.
"Good start," Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. "They've been sitting around waiting for us this week. We talked a lot about how we better be prepared for their start. Our guys really got out of the gate."
Brian Flynn and Jeff Petry scored in the third period for Montreal, and Al Montoya made five saves in relief of Price. The Canadiens are 1-7-1 against San Jose in the last six years.
The Canadiens got into penalty trouble early on and it cost them. The took three minor penalties in the first 8 minutes and San Jose scored on two of the power plays
With Paul Byron in the box for hooking, Schlemko opened the scoring with his first goal of the season, beating a screened Price top shelf with a wrister from the half wall. With the Sharks on another power play 2 minutes later, Marleau made it 2-0 from the slot after blown coverage by Alexei Emelin.
Still in the first period, the 20-year-old Meier, making his NHL debut, added San Jose's third at 13:18.
The Sharks chased Price at 6:44 of the second after Karlsson made it 4-0 by batting a bouncing puck into the roof of the net. It was the first time Price was pulled from a game without an injury since Oct. 13, 2014.
Flynn ended Jones' shutout bid with 9:32 remaining, and Petry scored with 6:12 left.
"They had their backs against the wall," San Jose forward Joe Thornton said. "They're a very prideful group. We knew they were going to push and that's what they did. We'll leave here with two points."
NOTES: Montreal's Andrew Shaw was out of the lineup with concussion-like symptoms. Shaw took an elbow to the head from Boston's Torey Krug on Monday night. Winger Sven Andrighetto started in his place. ... Michael McCarron made his season debut for the Canadiens. He had an assist on Montreal's second goal.
Sharks: At Chicago on Sunday night.
Canadiens: At Washington on Saturday night.